Warnings About New And Old TVs For Christmas

Tuesday, December 23rd 2008, 5:34 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Two things you should not put in your trash after Christmas, an old television and the box for a new one.

Police say the box for the new one is an invitation for a burglar and environmentalists say the worst place for an old TV is a landfill.

Tuesday was trash day in one neighborhood, but it was nothing like what's coming, the avalanche of after Christmas trash that will include plenty of old, analog televisions.

"We throw away a lot of them," said Don Mathews of Mathews Trash Service.

Trash haulers say they've seen plenty already and expect many more in Friday's trash.

"There's a bunch of them, hundreds, with that new deal going in I guess a lot of people are getting new TV's and getting rid of their old ones," said Mathews.

Televisions left by the curb as trash end up in a landfill where the lead and other metals can dissolve into the environment.

Oklahoma is one of the few states where it's legal to throw away a television instead of recycling it.

"You don't have to throw them away, you can reuse it, by buying a converter box and save yourself some money as well," said Kasey Frost of the Metropolitan Environmental Trust.

Old televisions can also be recycled in Tulsa. Sometimes TV stores have special promotions and take them for free, but otherwise recyclers charge about $15.

After recycling the old TV, police detectives say, don't leave the box for the new one out by the curb unless you can break it down so it's not obviously a TV box.

"The big screen TV's are the one thing that get stolen over and over right now, we see it on two-thirds of the reports we get now, so you don't want to put that big old box out there, it's a giant advertisement to a burglar," said Sgt. Brandon Watkins of the Tulsa Police Burglary Unit.

Friday is the biggest trash day of the year and with the new digital televisions selling so well this Christmas, it's expected to be a big day for TV disposal as well.